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House, Guild, Group & Organisation Leadership Ball

With projects across the Realm, groups of people working together and seeking the betterment of all our people, there comes a time where those who lead must also relax. When people must come together, socialise and share ideas. Attend with friends, make new friends and reconnect with old.

What will be a fine affair of food, wine, beer, new spirits and cocktail making before we are finish off dancing the night away - all are cordially invited to attend the Ball.


Sept. 21, 2019, 8 p.m.

Hosted By

Martino Catalana


Sigurd Pasquale Zoey Evonleigh Caspian Miranda Liara Marian Sabella Gianna Reese Thea Niklas Aethan Artur Zara Acantha Mirk Lucrezia Lucita Drusila Jaenelle Carita Rysen Esme Baelos


Thrax Grimhall Tyde Redtyde Melaeris Kennex Redreef Darkwater Navegant Stormbreak Blackshore Velenosa Rubino-Zaffria Igniseri Pravus Truesworn Malespero Seraceni Amadeo Inverno Gilden De Lire Fidante DiFidante Hawkmour Tessere Mazetti Corvini Malvici Saik Magnotta Grayson Bisland Ashford Shepherd Leary Stonewood Deepwood Riven Seliki Byrne Laveer Whitehawk Redrain Halfshav Crovane Nightgold Sanna Clearlake Stahlben Blackwood Ravenseye Acheron Valardin Telmar Wyrmguard Blackram Blanchard Greenmarch Rivenshari Laurent Lyonesse Keaton Clement Moore Farshaw Harthall Farwatch


Arx - Ward of the Compact - Ambassador Salon

Largesse Level


Comments and Log


I wasn't planning on going to the Leadership Ball, but I am glad that I did. I learned important negotiation skills, such as employ the worst drink you can inflict upon yourself and, more importantly, the other party is necessary. It "smooths" the process. Also, when you accidentally give your cities away because you are so drunk from your own smoothing over, don't forget to empty them of gems and jewels first.

I was going to do that last anyway!

Look at me, half a diplomat. Have fear Arx, deep fear: Diplomat Lucrezia is coming!

Lord Martino and Lady Catalana were excellent hosts.

In a heroic act that saved some man's feet, I left in the middle of dancing. Ugh, why does everyone try to get me to dance?

1 Malespero guard, Alberico, the Malespero aide arrive, following Pasquale.

Benny The Beaver arrives, delivering a message to Caspian before departing.

Sigurd arrives just before the start time, a little early, maybe to get a good spot to lurk. Turns out Sigurd wasn't the first to arrive. Running a hand over his silks with a frown the big northman chuckles afterwards. "Been a very long time."

2 Grayson House Guards arrives, following Liara.

2 Rubino and Zaffria guards, Brenlin, Aide-de-Camp, Jewel, a Maelstrom Forest Cat arrive, following Miranda.

Octavian, a silken spaniel arrives, following Zoey.

Elizabetta, a disapproving lady-in-waiting, Lily, an aloof lady-in-waiting, 2 Grayson House Guards, Clark, an exasperated guard, Niklas arrive, following Sabella.

Catalana and Martino are lingering near the doors, laughing hushedly as finishing off setting up for the night. A large table of different spirits from around the compact is set up. Kennex Vodka and Southport Red or course pushed to the front, but there is Nightgold Whiskey, Rum for your life, a whole assortment really. As the guests begin to enter, her face breaks into a huge smile "Hello. Welcome. Come in. Please help yourself to drinks. We have such a fun evening planned for everyone."

Pasquale glances about the various participants before unhurriedly making his way on over to Martino. He pauses twice. Once to claim a glass of red wine with umber gloved hands and then again to pick up a piece of salmon on a cracker. "It was brave of you to host this Martino." he gives a polite nod of greeting to Catalana.

Zoey manages to snatch a red wine with one hand and salmon on a cracker in the other before making her way to Martino and Catalana.

The doors open and Evonleigh enters with Aethan, her voice low as she speaks with him quietly. Her expression is bright as she takes in the transformation of the Salon from its usual quiet refinement to a much more festive sort of refinement. "Lovely," she says brightly, looking for the host and hostess to compliment. Her eyes settle on Catalana and Martino and she navigates that way, Aethan in tow. "Thank you for hosting us tonight, Lady Catalana. Lord Martino, isn't it? I'm not sure we've met properly. Lady Evonleigh Whitehawk," she says, offering her hand. "I trust you know Admiral Aethan Kennex?" she introduces, then grins at Catalana, who she knows knows Aethan. "You look lovely. Gold is your color."

1 Grayson House Guards, Peaches, a lovely white war filly with a peach saddle, Deliverance, an albino falcon, Rosalie, a lady in waiting arrive, following Reese.

Guess who isn't a leader anymore? Caspian. Guess who decided to show up anyway? Caspian. Dressed up in his finest outfit, he heads into the Salon with a big, bold smile, looking around a moment until he spies Thea in a gown, and heads right to her to give her a grin. "Oh wow, someone dressed up tonight. You look wonderful, my lady. This is a real treat."

Miranda enters behind a small crowd of others who have come for a fun evening. Her expression is a bit uncertain, looking somewhat like the canary who sees the cat lingering about. Her hands, bare of glvoes despite the chill of the autumn air, are clasped before her. She glances about, noting Catalana and Martino at the front, "My Lady, Cousin." Her voice is quiet, but warm with a light rasp.

Emerging into the Salon, Liara offers Catalana and Martino both an easy smile, and says, "My lady, my lord. I have never in my time here seen this place used for a party - splendid idea. Thank you." She carries on through then rather than clog up the doorway, and sheds her coat to pass it off to someone to put away for the moment.

Marian arrives at the salon, having removed her white leathers and steel for an emerald seasilk gown that matches her eyes. The luscious cloth is molded to her torso, flaring out at the bottom. Her porcelain skin that's exposed looks like cracked marble from the many scars she's received in defending the Crown and Compact. The skirt with it's open panels sometimes flashes a blade strapped to her thigh that is peace-tied for this event. After making her entrace, Marian starts to make her way to the hosts and old friends to give a greeting.

Sabella steps into the Salon on the arm of Niklas, beaming a smile at the decorations and of course the table of spirits. Her hair has been done up in an intricate array of curls and tiny braids and even strands of pearls and sparkling rubies looped through it, "I don't know that I've ever been to a proper party in here so I'm excited to see how they use the space," she's saying to him, before bouncing on her toes and giving Catalana a wave, "Let's make our introductions then maybe have a dance, hm?"

Positioned beside the Lady Catalana, the Lord Martino is on hand to also greet guests with a faint crease of his eyes. A bow now-and-then as he greets those coming in, "Ah yes... good evening. Welcome. Good evening. Welcome." The Lord is on an almost repeat as he gestures to a bottle here-and-there as he creases his eyes to Evonleigh, "Oh we have not... Lord Martino Malvici. Ah, Lord Pasquale. Never brave when I have the excellent co-host in Lady Catalana here." Martino's left hand gestures across to the bar as he notes, "I will be behind there, later, for those who wish to... experiment with making sharp cocktails. Also, we shall have the Whisper Gianna singing later. But, please. Do come in. Mingle."

Gianna sweeps in, accompanied by a small cluster of bards bearing instruments. They're like a little entourage for the Nightingale. Once she's inside, she adjusts her cloak's thick white fur mantle and tossing her hair behind her shoulder just /so/, highlighting her jewelry. A curious stone, not widely seen before.

Swiftwing, a sharp eyed, red-tailed hawk, Daan, the Fanboy Valet, 2 Redrain Guards, Venture, an Artshall sorrel mare, Buster, an impossibly charming pygmy goat arrive, following Artur.

Reese arrives at the gathering while adorned in a pink frothy gown and pink slippers. Despite wearing the dress, she still has a sword at her hip. Pink ribbon are tangled up in her golden locks. The girl peeks over the salen and has a gentle smile.

Catalana teases Aethan as he comes in on Evonleigh's arm "Oh the admiral Kennex? I fear I rarely see him these days." She smiles fondly at Evonleigh "I believe it is your good graces that pull him out his office. I am grateful to see you both tonight." Fixing the silly little hat in her hair, she continues with greeting the guests as they make their way in.

Thea has stepped in, her gown gathered as not to trip. She almost succeeded to go unnoticed, but low and behold..."Ah--thank you Caspian. Sometimes when the moment calls, I can--blend in so to speak. How are you?" Bowing her head to Martino and Catalana, she offers them both a brief smile,"Good evening. It looks lovely here." As she greets the others that trickle in. Thea quickly plucks a glass of red wine from a passing tray.

"Lord Martino. Lady Catalana." Sigurd greets both of them with a bow, "It is quite the event. I wished to say thank you for hosting it. By all appearances it will be a fabulous time for all. Please forgive me but I don't believe I am ready for an engagement of this magnitude at this time." He smiles apologetically, "Good evening." Exit is where? There. Sigurd heads towards it and waits for a lull so he can escape.

Brigid, the Barred Owl leaves, following Sigurd.

"Pfft," pffts Niklas. "Let's dance and that will be our introductions. After all, there's nobody who doesn't already know who we are that could possibly be worth knowing in return." Still, Niklas does stop and get himself a glass of brandy which is sipped slightly past decency would normally allow, then passed off to one of Sabella's retinue, probably some guy who was excited to hear that the illustrious House Grayson had chosen him, him amongst his peers!, to stand in defense of one of their refined princesses and now he's being handed empties in his swording hand. He pauses when he nears his kin, "Ah, Cat, Aethan, it has been far too long! I do hope we have the opportunity to catch up on the last," he glances toward the window then finishes, "twenty hours or so."

Zoey grins after an exchange of whispers with Martino, then retires to the couches to see what conversations come her way.

Benny The Beaver arrives, following Acantha.

Miranda has joined the Bar.

Zoey has joined the Far rear couches.

Pasquale says to Catalana "That is high praise but I can see its justified." Another of those nods and he leaves the pair to deal with the influx of guests. Eyes gloss about the occupants and then he heads for Reese. "Its been a while Princess. Are you enjoying the wine?"

Pasquale has joined the Large Table.

Miranda moves along so as not to hold anyone back at the entrance. She makes her way to the bar, sliding a hip onto a stool and smoothing her dress a bit. She leans back against the bartop, watching as folks arrive and mingle and such.

Aethan is, indeed, with Evonleigh, and he lets out a little snort at Evonleigh's words to his cousin, who it is likely he has already met once or twice. "Probably," he admits, as to what has gotten him out of his office -- or his room, or some other place where there are not a ton of people. However, he looks content enough, if slightly out of his element. Niklas and Sabella's arrival have him turning that way, and there's another little huff of amusement at his other cousin's words. It's not quite a laugh, but it is genuine. "Nik," he says, "Sabella. It's nice to see so much of the both of you."

Reese has a warm smile for Catalana and Evonleigh as she notices them together. She continues further inside, going to the bar and ordering her favorite drink warm cider. The girl then smiles over to Sabella and Niklas as well. She heads over to Miranda and tries to kiss her cheek. "Hi, Lady Miranda." The girl then peeks over to Pasquale. "Lord Pasquale, hi, it is good to see you and yes, I always enjoy wine." She says, but is holding cider. "How are you?"

Slipping into the Salon, Artur grins warmly as he comes up besides Reese and touches her arm. "You look radiant as usual, Your Pinkness." he teases the Princess with a wink at her before he turns his attention to the greeting of the guests. "Lady Kennex. I don't see any pools around." With a grin, he turns to Aethan. "And to you, again, my apologies. I hope all will go well in the future." he offers, deferring quietly with a bow of his head to the Kennex admiral.

Caspian flashes Thea a smile, looking her over as he says, "Rather then blend in, you stand out! You look lovely tonight." He looks over to the bar and the couch, trying to decide where to go. He eventually heads towards the couch, grabbing a drink on his way there.

While walking he gives a wave over to Reese, smiling her way.

Alette, a discreet lady's maid, Isabel, a calm diplomatic aide, Elena, a solemn knight attache arrive, following Zara.

Caspian has joined the Far rear couches.

"Prince Niklas, Princess Sabella," Gianna greets, her voice carrying easily. "Your hair looks lovely, Sabella. And Princess Reese, it's been some time, hasn't it?" Gianna shoos the bard retinue off to set up instruments. They scurry. "Lord Aethan. Lady Evonleigh."

Miranda smiles at the kiss to her cheek, nodding to Reese. "Ribbons," she offers, her voice is quiet, not really moving far, just loud enough to be audible to those around her. She glances about the room, noting various people present. No drinks yet for her.

"Someone has to," says Evonleigh with a grin to Catalana. "Well met, then, and I'll try one of your cocktails so long as it's as sweet as it is sharp. We need a balance in our lives," she adds to Martino, before turning to smile at the various Graysons and curtsying to them, Reese and Niklas and Sabella, followed by the Redrain representative. One curtsy for all, of course. Gianna's entrance draws the Whitehawk's gaze next and she lifts a hand to the Nightingale. "How beautiful you look. Is that the new stone I've been hearing so much about?" Evonleigh asks.

Reese has a smile for Artur that reaches her blue eyes and brings her dimples to briefly bloom. "Thank you Prince Artur. I decided to wear a gown for a change, but a pink one and I brought my sword still just in case." She says before waving to Caspian. "Hi, Champion Caspian." She greets. She then smiles to Gianna. "It has been a while. Too long since I heard you sing."

Marian makes her way over to Aethan and his companion, "M'lord, m'lady." She then turns to Niklas and Sabella, "Your highnesses." She has a twinkle in her green eyes at that greeting, "A rather crush isn't it." She gives a nod to where Sigurd just gave exit, "I'm not sure how long I'll be staying." The warchief, who normally avoids such events, manages to secure a glass of white wine, "These things really are not my forte." She looks to the ladies and tells them, "You'll have to give me some tips for navigating."

Having snagged a glass of red wine for herself, and seeing activity about the bar, Liara goes there herself, taking a stool, though she sits with her back to it so that she can watch the room, a smile offered along to the nearby Miranda.

Liara has joined the Bar.

Reese waves happily to Marian. "Princess Warchief Marian." The girl greets. She lingers near Miranda near the bar for now and is still cradling her cider. Liara is given a warm smile.

Catalana also looks to Gianna, "Seraphite? Is that the one everyone has been writing about? I have yet to actually see it." Stealing over with Evonleigh, she makes her way to Gianna to see the jewelry. "We shall have to try this cocktail making. I've never mixed a drink before. How hard can it be?"

"Ah Whisper Gianna... mine thanks for attending. I have arranged some violinists, a harpist and a cellist to add should you need for the pefroamnce." Martino's right hand rests upon his heart as he bows his head to Gianna before an easy, fleeting smile touches his lips to Evonleigh, "Oh quite so. Although it will be you on the making itself. I am sure one of us, at least, can put together a fine drink." With that, Martino turns his chin to Catalana to murmur about preparing himself behind the bar.

Martino has joined the Bar.

Zara passes off layers of fur and brocade as she enters, warded against the creep of chill as autumn threatens to spill into winter. She's dressed in silk and silver, pale and cool and reserved, but it's a reserve that gentles hearing Evonleigh's name on Gianna's lips, which draws her eye, and her attention. She glances across the room, with a nod to various familiar faces -- and one in particular to the hosts, and then collects a glass of wine on her way over. "Lady Evonleigh, good evening. I was just talking of you the other day. I hope your ears burned. Good things," she promises.

Reese has joined the Bar.

Miranda looks around the room, the mass of guests arriving draws her focus and her eyes widen just a bit. Oh no. She doesn't look like a deer-caught-in-headlights, not at all. Nope. Ahem. She turns her focus to Reese a moment, then to Liara, "Your Highness." Ah thank the Gods for manners and etiquette! Greeting folks who nod to her and stuff.

"I think my sister has a grand plan to marry all the recent treasures from Redrain. The seraphite that Willow gave her with some marmot fur that Baroness Acantha has provided." Artur chuckles. "I suppose that I should have paid more attention when hunting them." he offers with a shake of his head in amusement. "But I'm sure it would look lovely."

"You'll be seeing a lot of it around," Sabella tells Evonleigh with a laugh, "It seems they've given a piece to every fashionable lady in the Compact. And as well they should to get the word out. I adore the ring they sent me," She smiles to Marian, "The best way to get some air is to find someone to dance with. Then you can observe the party, be seen, and make your exit assured that people will remember you. At least, that's usually how we do it."

Reese peeks over to Martino. "Lord Martino, thank you for the party." She says cheerfully. She then smiles over to Zara as well. "And Princess Zara, nice to see you." She then teases to Miranda. "So many princesses and Graysons."

Thea spies a cousin and makes her way over to Miranda.

Thea has joined the Bar.

Acantha tries not to be late to things, but she had work to finish prior to needing to be at the ball. She arrives dressed in aeterna and draped in brocade. There's a look around and then she looks for the best place to observe things for the moment. She's used to observing and being on the outskirts of things. Benny sees to keep up with her as the get a glass of something to drink and then head for a place to sit that's not taken.

Miranda is overheard praising Catalana: Well. She's the hostess with the mostess... on her hat. The hat. Seriously. THe hat. The Party was a good idea too!

Miranda is overheard praising Martino: For a large, amazing party. If only I, too, could have his sense of fun and style...

Gianna's arrival has Aethan looking that way, and he inclines his head to her, a brief smile crossing his face as he says, "Whisper Gianna, it's been a while. Good to see you, I hope you're well." He turns to Marian then, continuing, "Princess Marian. Always a pleasure." His eyebrows raise at the mention of the new stone, and he looks a little confused -- shocking that he has no idea what this is. He does not say anything else about it, and instead looks to Artur, waving his and as though to dismiss the apology. "I'm sure it will," he says. "Thank you for your message." With that, he looks back to Evonleigh as Zara greets her, and he nods to the Valardin princess, though does not interrupt.

A messenger arrives, delivering a message to Acantha before departing.

"I love that dress," Liara declares to Reese, with a flash of a grin, and then she offers a somewhat more formal greeting to Miranda, lifting her wineglass briefly. "How do you do, Lady Miranda?" Then as Thea approaches the bar, the Grayson offers a little flutter of her gloved fingers in a wave.

Marian is overheard praising Catalina: Excellent venue

"Oh, will it!" Evonleigh says with a laugh. "Perhaps I'll stick to wine. I am not very skilled in anything involving food or drink, except eating and drinking, I confess." She turns then to Zara and dips into another curtsy, before taking the princess' hand to squeeze. "Oh, were they! I do hope it was only good things, but as long as it was about interesting things, I guess I will not complain," she tells her patron. Sabella's remarks make Evonleigh turn and laugh merrily, the sound ringing out like a bell. "I have not received one, so that stings but a little, your highness," she remarks, but her eyes sparkle a bit in a way that suggests she's not actually offended.

Marian is overheard praising Martino: What a great host!

Gianna raises her hand so Catalana can get a good luck at the rather large seraphinite stone settled in silver on her finger. Or the rest of it, since it's a matching set. "This is it, seraphinite. Lovely, isn't it?" She glances to Sabella and inclines her head. "Smart of them to do so, really. Send it to people." She gestures with her ring hand to Evonleigh and Zara. "Lord Martino, thank you for inviting me. It's a pleasure. And hello again, Lord Aethan. I'm quite well, thank you."

Liara is overheard praising Catalana: What a hat. Good party, too.

To Marian, Evonleigh turns, another dip of a curtsy from the Whitehawk for the princess and warchief. "It is very busy, isn't it? We're lucky you made an exception and came tonight, then," she says warmly.

Thea almost has that first sip of wine, but then there are greeting and such. "Good evening Princess Liara, it's been awhile I believe. You've been well,"Thea asks with a slight smile. She nods to Reese as well, giving her her natural wave.

Evonleigh is overheard praising Catalana: lovely hostess!

1 Crimson Blades Sergeant, Aegis, a large red Oakhaven bloodhound, Rurik, a prodigal assistant arrive, following Mirk.

Marian shudders at the thought of dancing, "No, I'm afraid my dancing skills are passable at best. I would murder my partner's feet far too swiftly and make a specticle of myself." She gives a wave to Reese, flashing a smile as she talks to the folks in front of her. Then shoots Artur a greeting, "It's good to see you, your highness." She nods to Gianna and tells him, "I'm looking forward to your performance." She looks at Evonleigh after her greeting and then introduces herself since this is the first time meeting, "Princess Marian Redrain. It's a pleasure to meet you." She motions to Aethan, "This one has been helping me get my navy off the ground so I couldn't help by come and greet him at this affair."

Evonleigh is overheard praising Martino: lovely host!

Martino wiggles his fingertips across to Princess Reese before he tucks himself behind the bar and crouches to pull up a few bottles. A white rum, a whiskey. Strong spirits and others as well. Orange peel, cherries. Ice. Sharp bitters and sugar water. Each placed about the top of the bar as Lord Martino presents it forth to the room, "For those who wish to try their hand at mixing, we shall run a little cocktail experiment to see who might be able to medley up the finest this evening. One to be made exclusively... somewhere. I am sure. Do attend with me around the bar." Sharp green eyes of Martino's inspects those around the bar and smiles just-so as he sets a glass out in front to start.

Liara is overheard praising Martino: Always a joy to have at a party, and he hosts a good one as well.

1 Pravosi Knights arrives, following Drusila.

Drusila arrives, following Lucrezia.

Reese look over to Thea with a warm smile. "Lady Thea." She greets. She seems to be in a happy mood and is cradling cider in her gloved hands.

Liara has left the Bar.

Miranda doesn't seem to answer Liara right away. She has it well in hand? Her honey-brown eyes are darting from person to person in almost a panic. New person arrives? Her eyes shift to the door. Looks them over, moves on. Oh look, activity there. What? Who? WHere? back to the bar and.. oh Liara said something to her. Her eyes widen a bit, panic ensues. She looks to Martino, then Thea, then Reese and Liara... again and again. Did she volunteer for something? "What?" is her quick reply to Martino.

Catalana peers interestedly at Gianna's ring. "It's beautiful. What house was it?" She belatedly hears Artur, "Oh. Nightgold?" She does agree with Gianna. "Yes. A clever move. I mean, who doesn't love jewelry?" Moving the over to the drinks, she shares with the room. "To any who want to try their hand at mixing a drink, there are spirits, juices, cordials here to play with." Checking belatedly with Martino, "We have a prize for whoever comes up with the best, don't we?"

Evonleigh has joined the Bar.

Golden, an Oakhaven bloodhound, Gunther, a Rottweiler, Micana, 1 Saik Guard arrive, following Lucita.

Golden, an Oakhaven bloodhound have been dismissed.

Gunther, a Rottweiler have been dismissed.

"And you, Princess Reese." Overhearing her words to Miranda, Zara doesn't quite smile, but humor colors her gaze. "That's Arx, isn't it? You can hardly move through a room without princesses on the left and Graysons on the right. I try to think of it as a blessing," she says. But then, she would, being a Princess. The humor lingers as a warmth in her eye as she nods to Aethan, but Evonleigh claims her attention and her hand, which Zara returns in a warm promise. "Both interesting and good. Lord Aethan, it's good to see you again, as well. How are matters in Stormward?" Gianna's wave draws her eye, and her admiration, as she releases Evonleigh's hand to curl both hers around the wine. "Whisper Gianna, always the best dressed in the room. That stone is lovely on you."

"If they have not sent one to you, Lady Evonleigh, it must only be because everyone believes you to be so taken with writing your next work! I know that when Niklas has inspiration strike he's rarely out and about unless I drag him away from the quill, so I'm very glad to see that Lord Aethan is acting that same part for you," Sabella grins at Aethan, surely the most social Kennex the world has ever seen. "Stahlban," She then correct Catalana, "They mine the stones and you'll surely be seeing them on the market soon. I intend to have a whole outfit put together for it, I've always been partial to green."

Sabella checked luck + alchemy at difficulty 15, rolling 11 lower.

"Why, thank you, Princess Marian," Gianna tells the red-haired woman with a flicker of a half-smile for her. "Seraphinite are from Bonespire, apparently. Hello, Princess Liara! And thank you, Princess Zara. You're too kind." Gianna practically glows. She soaks up the praise like the vain thing she is.

Mirk arrives fashionably late, though he wastes no time in helping himself to a drink of whiskey. Once he has a glass in one gloved hand, he nods his head idly to Gianna and Acantha, both among the familiar faces in attendance. "Good evening. I hope I haven't missed very much," he comments in a wry tone. "I've been a little behind on things." He looks tired, dark circles under his eyes and even paler than normal, though his words are casual enough. "How is everyone?"

Shaking his head, Artur glances over to where Acantha and Benny are sitting. "The Marmot furs from Clearlake." he gestures over to the Baroness. "I believe she was giving away some of the furs earlier. I took some to have a gift made." he offers with a nod towards the Baroness.

Thea checked luck + alchemy at difficulty 15, rolling 1 higher.

Artur checked luck + alchemy at difficulty 15, rolling 13 lower.

Acantha gives a sip to her wine and there's a look around to see if there are a lot of known faces. When she sees Mirk arrive there's a breath of relief as she and Benny head his way, "I was wondering where the Halfshav's were this evening." she muses to him. "I don't think you've missed much though." she adds to that.

"Oh we shall, yes of course." Lord Martino Malvici echo's and supports the words from Catalana as he pats the bar once, "Oh yes... so to start. We have to take the ice. See ice is important in cocktail making as it readies the glass up before adding sugar." Martino lifts up a crystal glass and presses a masher into it, rattling up a storm of crushed ice.

Martino checked luck + alchemy at difficulty 15, rolling 4 higher.

A messenger arrives, delivering a message to Marian before departing.

Caspian checked luck + alchemy at difficulty 15, rolling 9 lower.

No one could have foreseen Lucrezia having desire to attend this ball, but she hadn't until literally minutes before she arrived with Drusila. She hadn't even attempted to be fashionably late. Dark eyes glittering, she takes in the room, seeing what seems to be some sort of drink mixing game and servants going about with drinks. "They have rum. Did not expect that."

Somehow, by some crazy stroke of luck - bad or good, who can say - Miranda's ended up at the bar where everyone else is going. She just sort of.. stares at everyone as they mix concoctions, hands gripping the bar before she suddenly slides off her stool and murmurs, "Excuse me," as she begins to make a hasty retreat -away- from the crowd... Fleeing, as it were.

Caspian heads over to where the drinks are, rolling up his sleeves, "Stand back. Thraxians know how to drink, I'm gonna mix up a great drink for y'all." He says, grabbing some liquor and starts mixing. He tries his concoction, and makes a face. "Okay...nevermind. I suck at this."

Thea exhales and begins pouring a bit of this and hmmm...that looks alright. Might make it less strong, but Thea likes strong so not a lot. She mixes it and pushes it to Martino,"There you go. Dont die."

Having just vacated the bar, apparently not too eager about drinks mixing, Liara greets Gianna cheerfully, with a quick smile, "Hello, Nightingale." Then, after contemplating the bard for a moment, she goes on, "You look magnificent - I must seek out some of those stones. They're quite fetching."

Miranda has left the Bar.

Pasquale has left the Large Table.

1 Malespero guard have been dismissed.

Alberico, the Malespero aide have been dismissed.

Reese checked luck + alchemy at difficulty 15, rolling 4 higher.

Miranda has joined the Shadowy Table.

Lucita arrives with Mirk, looking up at him with a little laugh as she untucks her hand from the crook of his elbow and reaches for a drink of her own. She gives a little wave to those she recognizes, not a huge arm swooping wave but just a little bend and rocking of the wrist. "Sorry I delayed us so long, Lord Mirk. I just could not get those hairpins to anchor quite right. The nicer pair I 'should' have worn were 'lost' thanks to the twins exploring my jewelry box again, the little scamps."

A messenger arrives, delivering a message to Acantha before departing.

Miranda slips right into a smaller table to people watch as the crowd gets it on with their mixology skills.

As the drinks are set out, Artur glances at them all. And then he starts to experiment. "Let's see.. we'll call this the Compact mixer." And then he takes some Whitehold Whiskey, mixing it with Tor Wine, and then reaches over - he adds some Laurent honey. But instead of grabbing Thraxian rum - he instead grabs the bottle of brining for pickles. So he mixes it up cheerfully. The whiskey, the wine, the honey mead...

...and the pickle juice.

And then he serves it up and takes a drink. And bitter face hits as he sucks in his cheeks and goes red as the heat and saltiness of the brine overpower /everything/ and he ughs.

"I'm glad to hear it," Aethan replies to Gianna with another nod, before he turns to Marian again just as she introduces herself to Evonleigh. "Oh, I'm sorry. I assumed you two knew each other already." Clearly. "I'm glad to see you outside of work, Princess Marian." Zara's question, though, has him looking that way, and he continues, "And you, Your Highness. Things are actually going quite well there, thank you for asking." Which may be surprising -- but now nowhere near as surprising as it would have been a year or so ago. He has to look over to Sabella then, and his smile widens -- a little wryly, sure, but with amusement. He does not offer to play in the cocktail mixing game, though.

"I haven't yet started one of my own, I confess. I don't know that I have another in me, to be honest, of my won, but we'll see. There are many great writers who write but one thing in their life... I am not a great writer, but surely I might match them in that accomplishment," Evonleigh says, but she squeezes Aethan's hand, turning to Marian. "He is quite the commodity these days. For a bit he was a well kept secret, but now that Kennex is flourishing, everyone will want his help. Good job getting ahead of the crowd on that one, your highness." She looks at Aethan with a grin, knowing he's probably hating being bragged about. "And he is quite good at distracting me, though I think it's mutual," she adds to Sabella, before turning her attention to the bar to try her luck at the cocktail making. What could go wrong?Poisoning, that's what.

Marian gets a message which distracts the warchief. She frowns as she looks at the contents, and then looks up the party goers in her circle, "My apologies, but this matter is urgent." She then abruptly leaves, only taking a moment to say good-bye to her hosts before the warchief heads out to handle her duties.

Ender, a Silver Gyrfalcon, Ursa, 2 Redrain Guards leave, following Marian.

"You should," Gianna tells Liara. "It's very pretty. And thank you." Gianna inclines her head, still basking in the various praises. "Baroness Lucita," she greets the woman. "And Lord Mirk, good evening." She offerss one of her very faint flickers of a smile.

Artur checked composure + etiquette at difficulty 15, rolling 8 higher.

Drusila follows alongside Lucrezia and she's glancing at all the interesting persons here today. It's chaos. To her companion she asks, "One shot of rum for you, then we can play a game. There has to be some Setarcan reds or spiced Seraceni?" She seems to be looking for a drink she recognizes amidst the gaggle of servers. "Whiskey is absolutely out of the question. Completely. Out. Of. The. Question."

Evonleigh checked luck + alchemy at difficulty 15, rolling 8 lower.

Artur at least manages not to gag on the drink that he made as he pushes it to the side.

Reese waves happily to Lucita. "Hi, Baroness." She greets. She then notices Drusila and her blue eyes seem to brighten. "Oh! I won't say your name, but hi!" Sh says, giving Lucrezia a smile as well.

12 House Velenosa Guards, Ibasia, the Velenosa Lady-in-Waiting, Ellani, the palm sized spider arrive, following Jaenelle.

When she sees that there's a competition table, Sabella makes her way over to it and surveys the offerings. Mixing drinks can't be that hard, right? She picks up some champagne, pours it halfway up a glass, then picks up some brandy, which she knows is Nik's favorite and pours in a bit, then picks up some Grayson Apple Wine and, beaming, pours in some of that to the tip top. She picks up her fizzing concoction and looks around for her husband, "Has anyone seen Prince Niklas? Lord Aethan! Are you thirsty?!" She holds up the glass. It's turning pretty brown.

"Children," Mirk says in a wry tone at Lucita's comments, shaking his head. "There's times I'm glad I don't have any." He shrugs a shoulder at Acantha's question. "We've been distracted, unfortunately. But I'm sure you'll see us out and about soon." He returns the smile from Gianna, briefly, before he's distracted looking around the salon. He eyes the mixed drinks for a moment, before commenting, "I think I'll find focus on finding a table, though. It's a little hectic for my tastes. I welcome any of my friends to join me, however." He indicates them, and heads for a table, staking out a spot for himself.

Reese makes herself a pink looking drink from dry white fizzy wine and cherry juice. It look drinkable at least! She takes a sip of it.

Mirk has joined the Large Table.

Blinking thrice at Artur, Lord Martino is almost aghast in the shock as the Prince grabs pickle juice to add to the drink. "You High----" Down it goes and Martino wrinkles his nose. "No... no that won't do. Let's mix you something more proper." Having crushed his ice, Martino now measures two whiskey and pours it into the ice-sugar mix that has formed in his crystal glass. After, a peel of orange is taken and pulled sharp towards the drink and dumped it. A cherry to finish.... "Prince Artur. This. This will suit better." Across Martino goes from behind the bar to set it before him. A distant smile is made out to others as they come in and join. A crease of Martino's eyes.

Catalana laughs brightly as she watches those drinks being consumed and then the participants all gagging or turning red. Impishly, she laughs at Martino. "This is the most brilliant game ever. What a wonderful idea."

After a few minutes of tossing bits and bobs into some contraption and mixing it all up, Evonleigh takes a small sip of her concoction and wrinkles her nose, grabbing for the nearest glass of wine to chase it with. "No one drink that. I'm not joking." At Sabella's call to Nik and Aethan she laughs. "I dare Niklas to drink that." Aethan is off the hook.

Miranda's eyes flit from person to person, watching everyone mix their drinks, try them or not. Her wide eyes flits over to doors, then back to the action at the bar. She remains safely ensconced at her shadowy table. Her hands are clasped tightly on the top of the table, thumbs moving absently to rub at her hands.

Sabella hunts around and then drops a couple grapes in it too.

Zara has a remarkably good poker face, which -- as people begin with their very _bold_ mixing -- serves her well. She sips her wine -- unmixed!! -- and says, "I see the soul of adventure lives well tonight." And it may die well. In hangovers. But that's tomorrow's problem, and she watches the courageous attempts without joining. Nope, no thanks. Glancing sidelong at Aethan, she tips two fingers from the rim of her glass in a salute. "I'm glad to hear it. I've worked closely enough with those of the Isles that I always follow the news from the east with interest." She leans forward, curious enough about Evonleigh's firm 'I'm not joking' that she tries to get at least a hint of what it _smells_ like. Terrible, probably?

Lucita has joined the Large Table.

Coughing and sputtering a few more times, Artur manages to reach for Martino's drink like a man dying of thirst that has found water in the desert. Taking the glass and downing it quickly, he makes a face as he coughs a few times into his hand. "Thank you, my Lord." is offered to Martino as he tries to recover from the Pickle Mead Whiskey Disaster.

Liara's attention is drawn from Gianna - after a peek towards the bard's earrings, anyway - and back to the bar, and she offers a /very helpful/ suggestion to Sabella: "Everyone likes lemon, too." Then she moves on towards Miranda, propping her hip against the edge of the smaller table as she leans against it.

Evonleigh's drink smells of despair and hatred. With a little lime.

Lucita takes a seat at the table by Mirk and after glancing around the crowded room, shudders in an exaggerated way to see some of the concoctions being mixed. "Oh, if they manage to drink all that, likely to have a headache and sour stomach before long."

Reees's drink tastes how pink must taste!

Thea sips her concoction. It doesn't taste--awful really. Strong but not no one is going -die-. Maybe hair on the chest. "This isnt terrible..."

"Just *one*?" Lucrezia does not mask her disappointment, but curves her fingers about the rim of only one glass. "By the looks of things, getting blind drunk would not be scandalous. Play a game..." Drusila's suggestion light that dangerous glitter of trouble within the Pravosi's eyes. The drinking game over yonder was unlikely to be what she had in mind. "Whiskey is that bad? There is bound to be some sort of wine about here." She returns Reese's smile with one of her own and a wave.

Drusila continues to stand near Lucrezia, but there's a small lift of her lips to a tiny smile at Reese who greets her. "Princess Reese, this is the lady Lucrezia of house Pravus, admiral of the Black Feet and the excellent captain of the Wanton. Lady Lucrezia, this is my friend, princess Reese. I'm pretty sure you all know of each other." Introductions out, she says something quietly to the Pravus before asking Reese, "How did pink taste?" Drusila replies back to Lucrezia, "Whiskey is for people who normally drink writing ink but ran out."

Zara checked composure + etiquette at difficulty 15, rolling 57 higher.

O god. That's so bad. Zara leans away. "That's certainly an _interesting_ choice of blend, Lady Evonleigh," Zara says. Very Politely.

Reese checked luck + alchemy at difficulty 20, rolling 3 higher.

Martino checked luck + alchemy at difficulty 20, rolling 9 lower.

Thea checked luck + alchemy at difficulty 20, rolling 13 lower.

Acantha gives a nod to Mirk and the others as the meander to find a seat. She then gives a whisper to the man before she dips her head to Mirk and Lucita and whoever else might be around and she heads for the exit. Something needed to be taken care of and Benny is right on her heels.

Miranda glances up at Liara as she sits a hip on her table. She offers a smile to Liara, then looks back to the bar and the crowd. Her eyes flicker about and she shakes her head, speaking to Liara, "I can't focus." She chews her lower lip. "Too much going on."

Aethan turns at his name, and sees the cocktail Sabella has made. His eyebrows raise, and he stares at it for a second or two before he calls back, "I think I'll leave that to your husband." There's a bit of a wider smile as he says this, and he looks back to Evonleigh when she chases hers with wine. "Not to your taste?" he asks, in an admirable deadpan. He might have said something else, but his attention returns to Zara then, and he continues, "I didn't realize you'd worked so closely with those of the Isles, Your Highness."

Gianna checked composure + etiquette at difficulty 15, rolling 40 higher.

Jaenelle is not sure what she is getting herself as she walks into the room, but there appears to be people around tables with various bottles of alcohol that are being randomly mixed into glasses. "I should have brought Mydas' Foolsbane it seems" she muses with amusement, "though I would rather no one die during this event so it might have been best I left it home." She moves towards the hosts of this get together, offering both Catalana and Martino smiles in greeting.

Sabella snaps her fingers and points to Liara, "You're right! It's missing citrus!" She picks up a lemon and squeezes some juice in, picks up a tiny sliver of orange and drops it in, sending liquid over the sides, "Isn't there a drink that has some sort of salt around the edges?" She asks no one in particular.

Reese looks over to both Drusila an Lucrezia, seemingly a bit captivated by the Pravus woman. "Oh, did met her before. We were going to talk sea battles sometime." She says and then starts to work on her drink. "I need to sure it doesn't get too sweet to, but tastes pink.." She says, adding a drop of vodka to strength it and tiny bit of raspberry juice. "Here try..." She says to Druisila. Her drink is not bad. Maybe not totally wonderful, but not bad either.

Benny The Beaver leaves, following Acantha.

Someone handed Gianna a drink and she's gotten used to that and so she just raises it to her lips to sip it. Except it was someone's strange concocted drink, and the Nightingale... is very still for a moment, blinking. She carefully swallows and looks for somewhere to... enjoy the drink further. Definitely not pour it out. That would be so rude. Tomorrow, staff will wonder at a potted plant that went from healthy to crinkled and brown essentially overnight.

Lucita spots Jaenell and with a smile she says. "There is room to sit here if you want to join us for a while."

Having managed to make a single nice drink for Prince Artur, there is an air of confidence now about Lord Martino as he works from behind the bar for the next patron. "Ah... Lady Evonleigh. Let me try something new on for you then."

Catalana warmly greets Jaenelle, "Grand duchess. What a pleasure to see you. Feel free to try your hand at drink mixing." Her voice lowered in a gentle laugh, "I think Prince Artur's has been the most interesting. I believe he used pickle juice to add some spice."

Reese looks over to Jaenelle, having a smile for the Archduchess. The girl then peeks over to Miranda, to see how she is holding up.

Though Liara's gaze lingers at least somewhat on the bar, some of the antics prompting her to breathe a low laugh, she otherwise turns aside to Miranda for a moment, commenting, "The trick, my lady, is not to try to understand or focus on all of it at once. Besides, I daresay it will move to dancing soon."

"It can double as a barnacle repellant!" Artur calls over to Catalana, giving Janelle a bow of his head in greetings.

Liara has joined the Shadowy Table.

Looking to Aethan, her eyes watering just slightly from the whiff of Evonleigh's Despair Drink, Zara blinks twice, rapidly. She resets her expression to a warm neutral. "Oh, yes. I'd worked with the Order of East Light for some time, actually. Before that I'd done some work with Duchess Margot and Redtyde." She makes a slight gesture, tipping her hand one way, then the other as she says, "But for all that I wish the east well, the west calls me home."

Caught looking at her drink as if contemplating trying to sip rum(blasphemous!) or drink her only drink in one shot, Lucrezia lifts her eyebrows at being introduced to Reese. "Oh, your name isn't Ribbons. Well... I did wonder after that night if I'd made that up myself." She had been *very* drunk. "Too bad." Forgetting she has allotment of only one rum, she drinks down the shot. Game time!

Miranda glances to Liara as she speaks to her, looking extremely .. focused. One person. She can handle that! Maybe.

Zara's effort to be polite makes Evonleigh laugh again. "I don't profess to be good at making much of anything with my hands," she says brightly. Aethan's deadpan makes her laugh again and she leans in to murmur something in his ear, before turning at the sound of her name again. "So long as it wasn't made by me or Princess Sabella or anyone else who I see making faces at their drinks," she tells Martino. The drink is taken and lightly sniffed, before sipped. She nods. "This is quite good. Or it might be that I burnt my tastebuds off with my own drink. Either way, thank you, Lord Martino," she says with a grin.

Thea bows her head to Drusila,"Good evening." Returning to her drink, deciding the first wasnt bad she decides to add something more to it. Rum? She reaches for that and pours, shakes, tosses in a twist of lime--then sip. And gods above, no! Her gold-flecked green eyes water and Thea forces herself to swallow as she discreetly sets her glass on the bar and slides it to Martino. She quickly finishes off her wine. No. nope. nope.

Reese looks to Lucrezia. "I answer to Ribbons. I think I kind have more than one day. Ribbons, Pink and Reese. But my parents didn't name me Ribbons."

Gianna places a hand over her stomach, her expression remaining calm and composed. So calm. So composed. Her free hand seizes the wrist of one of her bard minions, and she whispers something quietly to the young woman, who blinks rapidly and goes scurrying off toward Lord Martino. Gianna adjusts her cloak about her shoulders and eases off back into the night.

"The cook in the Hundred Cities once gave me a cake made with asparagus, so I believe it is possible to put pickles in a drink" Jaenelle says to Catalana, not hinting one way or another if the asparagus cake was edible or if Artur's drink is going to kill someone. All diplomatic and stuff. Reese is given a smile and finger wiggle, "Princess Reese, you are well? And does your drink have pickles as well?" Turning then to Lucita, she moves closer to the woman to join her where she sits to observe the room at large and any who might address her.

Jaenelle has joined the Large Table.

4 Redoubt Buccaneers, Midna, the twighlight Darkwater Assistant arrive, following Carita.

Drusila sips the pink brew. "It' A little fruity, a bit sweet, airy on the lips afterwards like someone blowing on them cool. Call it Pink bReese. I think I like it, but it's missing something." giving the potent pink mix a new witty name. Thea is giving a nod, "Hello. Are you trying the alchemy over there? I'm not. I'm surprised people are still standing or don't have facial twitches given their...desire to adventure in mixing drinks."

Evonleigh has left the Bar.

Caspian:gives a little chuckle over to Zoey, admitting, "A little bit of both?" He shrugs his shoulders at that. "Wash is my patron, so I want to see him and his how succeed, and if I can get Kennex's favor in the process then that's good for me," he explains to her. After a moment, he admits, "I have some plans, some I'm willing to talk about more then others. One such goal is to seek out the sword of my ancestral house."

Catalana glancing to the bar and realizing Reese is the only one still capable of drinking her concoction, she proclaims for the room. "It seems Princess Reese is the winner for tonight." Glancing at the barkeep, "Perhaps you could share her drink among those with us tonight, yes?" Lets hope that it's a possible drink and that Reese just doesn't have an iron gut.

"How did you get yours to be so pink?" Sabella asks Reese, watching Drusila drink hers and then giving a glance to her own horror in a glass. She frowns just a bit, "Well. Chocolate is also brown. Perhaps this is...chocolately delight! Can you call a drink something if it doesn't have that in the ingredient list? Perhaps homage?"

A messenger arrives, delivering a message to Martino before departing.

"Ribbons and Pink. Those really fit." Lucrezia lets out a laugh and hands her empty glass to a passing servant. Cutting her way through the crowded room, she heads to the bar to avoid getting offered the taste of pink. With a flashed grin, sit claims a seat at the bar. "This is make a drink and have everyone else taste it game?"

Reese looks over to Jaenelle. "Oh, no pickle juice, I wouldn't dream of it. I can bring you some of mine to taste, Archduchess." She says sounding polite and cheerful. She then turns to Drusila. "Oh, Pink Breese, I like that. Very clever." She says to Drusila. The girl then smiles to Catalana. "Thank you, Lady Catalana." She adds before looking to Sabella. "Oh, cherries and raspberries, that made it pink."

Lucrezia has joined the Bar.

Drusila has joined the Bar.

"Ah. Well, thank you for your help. We appreciate the support of the rest of the Compact." Aethan inclines his head to Zara again, before he leans in toward Evonleigh for whatever it is she's murmured to him. It makes him laugh -- quietly, but still. He reaches to take a glass of water from a passing server, instead of any mixed drink, horrible or otherwise. In this crowd, it's probably for the best.

Drusila lifts a hand and taps her index finger to the temple three times when Reese speaks of clever. "I'm positive there's a market for Pink Breese, too bad you missed summer already for the release and launch." As Lucrezia heads to the bar, so does Drusila.

"Oh I am glad you have enjoyed the drink, Lady Evonleigh. Perhaps there is a future vocation for me after all. Mixer of spirits." Martino chuckles hushed for a moment to her as he steps out and around from the bar to applaud Reese, "A secret talent of yours, Princess? Well done. Well made." With a crease of his eyes, Martino stands around to the front of the bar and is replaced with an actual expert who knows what they are doing. "Lady Lucrezia. Messere Drusila. Fine day to meet you both." A dip of Martino's chin follows as both gather around the bar, a fleeting murmur to one of the servants has Martino poured a glass of rum from the House Darkwater selection.

"I like pickle juice. It might go well with vodka, actually. Perhaps that is the next Kennex variety," says Evonleigh with a grin to Zoey, so she can pass it on to Ian, no doubt. "Congratulations, Princess Reese. Your winning streak continues," she says warmly when Catalana announces her the winner. She takes another sip of her lemon whiskey, lips puckering just a little. "A little Mercier tea in this would be lovely, and warmed, too."

Sabella has joined the Bar.

"If anyone can convince the room that there is something in the glass that isnt there, it is certainly you Princess Sabella" Jaenelle tells the woman with an amused grin. "No one will question it." As Reese's offer, Jae shakes her head slightly, the smile still in place "I do appreciate the offer, but I am not sure I am worthy of a taste of the Pink Breese, I didnt make my own to share so I would feel as if I was taking advantage of your good nature."

Catalana gives an appalled look to Evonleigh, "I do not think the brothers Kennex need any further inspiration in vodka flavors."

Carita's arrival, in a swirl of Thraxian blacks, seems a stark contrast to the bright smile she wears. There's a pause as she enters, blue eyes scanning the occupants to find many faces familiar. There's a curtsy to those of higher ranking, and a finger wave or a dip of her head to those she knows a little better. Making her way to the large table, she dips another curtsy for Jaenelle, "Welcome back, Lord Mirk. Will you pass along my good wishes for Lord Arik?"

Reese looks over to Drusila. "Prehaps in spring I will have some made." She says with a touch of longing in her voice, maybe for spring. The girl then turns to Martino. "I guess so, I could have missed my true calling." She murmurs before smiling to Evonleigh. "Thank you, Lady Evonleigh." She then look to Jaenelle. "Well, it would be an honor to have you try anything I make, Archduchess." She adds before speaking more quietly at the bar.

Mirk returns Carita's greeting with a dip of his head. "Thank you, Lady Carita, and a pleasure to see you again. I'll pass your best wishes on to Lord Arik, though you may be able to visit him while he's recovering. He's been resting in the study, so that he might better receive visitors."

As he wanders through the crowd, Artur mingles gently as he comes up to Mirk and Carita and gives a tip of his head. "I hope all is well with Lord Arik. Lord Mirk, a pleasure to see you as always." he offers with a grin towards him. "And of course, Countess Darkwater. How're you?"

Carita has joined the Large Table.

Miranda is overheard praising Malvici: A good party - Martino makes it easy for everyone to get together!

Aethan raises an eyebrow at Evonleigh's suggestion of a vodka flavor, but before e can comment on it, Catalana does. He lifts a hand as though to emphasize what she's said, but he does add, "I'll pass it along." He looks around, and his gaze settles on Carita when she arrives. "Countess," he says with a lifted hand in greeting.

A dip of Jaenelle's head is given to Carita in acknowledgement "Countess Darkwater, I have not forgotten about your missive, I just have not had the chance to respond just yet. I hope you forgive me?" Back to Reese, Jae challenges, "if you remember next week everything that went into that drink I will make the bartenders of the Black Fox learn how to craft it especially for you and it shall be added to the menu."

"He's recovering at the moment," Mirk answers both Artur and Lucita. "He's well enough to receive messengers, write a response, and to receive visitors in moderation, however. The duties of a House Sword can, unfortunately, be dangerous." He leaves the matter at that, reaching for his glass to take another sip of whiskey.

Drusila lifts her goblet to Martino, the host, at the bar and says. "Silver might normally opens door and grease wheels, but the name Malvici opens hearts to opportunity. Well done tonight."

Stood around the bar the Lord Martino is holding a glass of rum, swirling it before sipping the faint vanilla toned drink. "Mm.... oh that is very kind of you to do so, Archduchess Jaenelle. There was a part of me panicking just how to make the drink known across the city." Martino's eyes crease across to Reese before he murmurs to excuse himself a moment from the bar, "Just a moment, my good guests." Across the floor Martino steps to the large table to approach on Lucita's left side.

Reese looks to Jaenelle, the Princess looking all flattered. "Oh, thank you, it was pretty simple really. She then looks to Drusila at her toast. "Beautifully said."

Miranda pushes herself up from the shadowy table, shaking her head a bit as she speaks to Liara, rising and clearly looking to depart. Her eyes move to the door, suspiciously.

Miranda has left the Shadowy Table.

Thea watches the people still come in, overwhelmed a bit.

Carita was just smoothing her skirts out to settle when Artur approaches, earning a curtsy from her instead. "Your Highness, how am I? Oh, fine as ever. What about yourself? I took your suggestion for my garden to heart and had a swinging bench put in. I hope it will be enjoyed." When Jaenelle addresses her she finally sinks down into a seat, brows lifted. "Oh, please, don't worry! I suspected everyone I sent a letter to would take some time to respond. Consider yourself forgiven." When Mirk speaks next there's a smile shot his way, "I've been trying to expand on the Garden I put in recently, to help any House that would like to honor their heros, though I hope they're not all warriors. We cream puffs need remembered as well."

Catalana noticing Carita after it's settled that pickled flavored vodka will not be a thing, she does to mingle. She runs directly into Miranda. A warm smile to the lady. "Lady Miranda. How are you? I feel like it's been forever since I last saw you." She stands directly in the way of the door. Yep. Trapped.

Liara eases to her feet as well and offers Miranda a smile in parting, giving a flutter of her gloved fingers in a wave. The Grayson then steps out across the room once more, gaze drifting.

Liara has left the Shadowy Table.

Blink. Blink. Miranda just sort of looks at Lady Catalana and says nothing a moment. "Ahh, I'm.. it's been awhile, yes." Damnit. Miranda draws in a breath, "I was just going to head out, my Lady, but it was a lovely party. Just.. " She glances about, looking very much like she needs to find a new escape route!

Thea has left the Bar.

Catalana smiles at Miranda while she flounders. "Oh. Are you sure? I believe we are about to have some music. I promise it will be enjoyable."

Lucita looks a little surprised as Martino approaches her and speaks softly. Color rises in her cheeks and she swallows hard then mutely nods before saying... "er.. if you wish it, I can try". She rises, excuses herself from the table a moment and then moves toward the musicians, speaking with them a moment before turning to say. "I have been asked to share a song with you. This is a light hearted one that seems to fit the mood of this gathering. It is for those of Whisper House, those talented people that most of us encounter and hire from time to time.

Reese is overheard praising Martino: A wonderful part and a great host!

Reese is overheard praising Catalana: A wonderful hostest!

Lucita checked charm + performance at difficulty 15, rolling 38 higher.

Martino glimpses across to Carita when she speaks of puffs and smiles just so. "Ah... mine thanks for the rum sent Countess. A fine drink it is." Up Martino lifts his glass with the mentioned drink before taking himself back to the bar once more to join with the group around, "Oh... we have some singing now. What did I miss here?"

Catalana drops a ribboned tote bag.

Thea gathers her white gown lightly and makes her way to Miranda, noticing her discomfort,"Miranda, Lady Catalana. How are you both?"planting herself next to Miranda's side. All appears normal here except--Thea's eyes are turning more gold, a usual sign of well..something.

Lucita sings.....

Varied skills of a Whisper
Hold a value often sought.:sings.....
Their talents are astounding,
Their lessons finely taught.

A tempter wished those talents.
Those could serve him well.
But evil was his purpose
In his heart, dark did dwell.

The tempter set his sights
On a Whisper's graceful form.
But their training and duty
Shed off his words with scorn.

Away from me you villian
Go away 'now' came the call.
Into your wicked clutches
This Whisper shall not fall.

His words then held threats.
Refusal they must not say.
The outcome would be dire
Before ending of that day.

"As someone who is hopeless at arms, I admire the thought," Mirk says with a low chuckle at Carita. "And I hope you find examples of heroes that didn't pick up a sword. They might be inspiration to some." He quiets, soon after, to listen to Lucita's signing, his head canted.

Lucita continues singing.....

Tho Whisper soft the touches,
And Whisper soft the voice,
It was alaricite the will.
None shall sway their choice.

For help they did not call,
Nor did they try to run away.
The brave and wily Whisper
Handled it a Whisper's way.

A Whisper's way is silent
A Whisper's way is discrete
A Whisper's way is secret
When trouble they do meet.

Ability to handle things
When trouble's round about
Is why they are a Whisper
Instead of being a 'Shout'.

How'd the threatening end?
That is difficult to say.
It would not be a secret
If we gave the means away.

Artur gets Winter's Heart, Nightgold White Whisky from a ribboned tote bag.

Zoey gets Winter's Heart, Nightgold White Whisky from a ribboned tote bag.

Sabella gets Winter's Heart, Nightgold White Whisky from a ribboned tote bag.

Miranda gets Winter's Heart, Nightgold White Whisky from a ribboned tote bag.

Thea takes Winter's Heart, Nightgold White Whisky from a ribboned tote bag.

Miranda moves her hands behind her back, trying to look as nonchalant as possible which is really hard to do when looking as wide-eyed as she looks. "I uh.. Yes, music is very nice." Wow, so full of wit tonight! "I just..." She gestures to the room, then to her ears, "It's... very loud and... uhm.. too much.. " Thea! Miranda turns to Thea and smiles, "Cousin." She kisses Thea's cheek. "I was just saying how wonderful the party was and I was about to leave.." And then Lucita is singing. Miranda looks a bit more like she isn't sure where to focus. Catalana. Thea. Lucita. The bar.

Caspian gets Winter's Heart, Nightgold White Whisky from a ribboned tote bag.

Mirk gets Winter's Heart, Nightgold White Whisky from a ribboned tote bag.

Lucrezia gets Rum for Your Life from a ribboned tote bag.

Zoey gets a flirty spring rose from the Lyceum from a ribboned tote bag.

Aethan gets Winter's Heart, Nightgold White Whisky from a ribboned tote bag.

Evonleigh gets Reserved Cask of Raconteur's Pulchritudinous Torments from a ribboned tote bag.

Lucita finishes the song, thanks the musician and then returns to her seat. "Thank you all for your patience in listening."

Jaenelle is overheard praising Lucita: A beautiful song from an amazing singer.

Drusila sets her goblet down a moment and gives a clap to the singer, Lucita, for her performance. "She's an excellent singer."

Reese gets Winter's Heart, Nightgold White Whisky from a ribboned tote bag.

With silence touching the Lord Martino Malvici for a moment as he listens to the singing from Baroness Lucita. A slow close of his eyes and before long he applauds firm with the others. A crashing of palm and fingers as he agrees with others about, "Oh well sung Baroness. Well sung!"

Martino is overheard praising Lucita: Thank you for providing us with such wonderful singing

Reese is overheard praising Lucita: Lovely voice and lovely understanding of music and song!

Catalana has stopped focusing on Miranda when the song starts, likely giving Miranda time to flee. She applauds at the end. "Just lovely. Thank you for sharing."

Zara is overheard praising Lucita.

Despite her boisterous conversation at the bar, she quiets some as Lucita begins to sing and focuses on drinking the rum the tender at the bar had given her.

Catalana is overheard praising Lucita: What a beautiful song.

Evonleigh is murmuring quietly to Aethan when the song begins, so she stops and listens. Her lips curve into a smile at the performance, and when it is through she applauds. "Very lovely. We are so lucky to have the Whisper House," she agrees. To those nearby she murmurs, "I thought of becoming a Whisper, before my cousin asked me to join Whitehawk," she admits. "Sometimes I wonder how different my life would be had I done that, but I am glad I did not." There's a sweeter smile up at Aethan than most of her wry smirks suggest she is capable of.

Thea applaudes Lucita sincerely all while inching with Miranda toward the door. Nothing to see here.

Miranda just stands there a moment, applauding, but then realizes EVERYONE is distracted! Must. Stop. Clapping. And she flees. Around Catalana and right out the door - a glance back to Thea with a look of gratitude. Also, Lucita, the unwitting accomplice!

2 Rubino and Zaffria guards, Brenlin, Aide-de-Camp, Jewel, a Maelstrom Forest Cat leave, following Miranda.

Liara offers some brisk and cheerful applause as Lucita's song comes to a close. No fleeing here, though; the princess instead turns her attention to the musicians present - curious, hopeful maybe?

As Lucita performs, Artur glances around, thoughtful, and then notices Liara. Considering her for a moment, when he catches her eye, he offers a small bow of his head and a gesture. And a single request with an offer of his arm. "May I have a dance, Your Highness?" he asks the Grayson princess.

Catalana finishes applauding and it's her turn to step onto the stage. "Just a moment before we continue into the night. Lord Martino and I just wish to thank you all for coming tonight. So often we all meet over war tables and spend our time discussing how to better the compact. Tonight was a chance for us all to spend time relaxing and laughing together. To enjoy a moment of the peace we all work so hard for." She gives a warm smile to Martino, "I would also like to thank Lord Martino in helping me organize the night. It has truly been a pleasure." Back to the crowd after, "So friends. Please enjoy some more drinks and food, the band will start shortly for any who wish to dance." She quickly hops off the stage so that the band can get set up.

Aethan is quiet, too, as Lucita sings, and when she finishes, he applauds with the rest, a little smile on his face. It widens when Evonleigh speaks, and he looks toward her, reaching to touch her arm. It's brief, but it's accompanied by a softer smile of his own in response to hers.

Catalana is overheard praising Martino: Best co-host ever

Liara gives a light nod to Artur, pauses a moment to listen to Catalana, then turns her attention to Artur again, with an easy smile, reaching to lay a gloved hand to his elbow. "Certainly. I wonder what they shall be playing."

Drusila lifts a dark brow up in interest as Artur seems inspired and requests Liara to dance. "And I see tonight's first dance, but hopefully not last." giving those near her a pair of persons to watch. "A raise of our glasses to their bravery?"

Jaenelle is overheard praising Catalana.

Jaenelle is overheard praising Martino.

Zara is overheard praising Catalana.

Zara is overheard praising Martino.

Zara has joined the Bar.

Sabella is overheard praising Catalana: Fantastic party!

Once again, fingertips of left hand meet palm of right and Lord Martino Malvici applauds the words from Catalana and as the band prepare themselves for a jaunty waltz to start. "Ah... Messere. Might I?" Is heard from Martino as his left hand rolls forth to Drusila at the bar while others make some toasts, raise glasses and the like.

Sabella is overheard praising Martino: Fantastic party!

Lucita is overheard praising Martino.

Lucita is overheard praising Catalana.

Liara checked charm + performance at difficulty 15, rolling 63 higher.

Sir Quentin, a resplendently martial quetzal arrives, delivering a message to Thea before departing.

Drusila apparently is asked to dance by the host, and so she sets her goblet down. Her right hand lightly rests fingertips to his offered left as she moves to follow his lead.

Thea sidesteps away from the door, like she was never there and makes her way over to the couches. Thea makes her comfortable and sits.

Thea has joined the Far rear couches.

Artur checked charm + performance at difficulty 15, rolling 15 higher.

Martino has left the Bar.

Drusila has left the Bar.

Drusila has joined the Shadowy Table.

Accepting Liara's touch to his elbow, and encouraged by Drusila's words, Artur waits for the band to start before leading Liara out onto the floor to start with the dance. Of course, he's nowhere near the professional that Liara is of the courtly moves - but the Prince is able to somewhat stay in step with the woman. Of course, compared to her, he probably comes across looking more like a bear bumbling in the woods than effortless

Martino has joined the Shadowy Table.

Lygeia, a calligrapher and alchemist arrives, following Rysen.

Catalana decides to go mingle with Sabella, picking up a drink on the way, she smiles to her friend "I haven't had the chance to speak with you all night. How are you? Enjoying yourself?"

Catalana has joined the Bar.

Moving out into the cleared space with Artur, Liara takes to the waltz like a duck to water - she plainly has an ear for the music, and does after all attend balls and parties a lot. Like, a lot a lot. Thoroughly comfortable with the dance, however brisk, she goes about it as showily as she can - if there's an opportunity for a spin or, indeed, lean to any particularly awkward angles, she takes it, though not quite to the point of tripping up the Redrain prince.

Stepping twice to his left, before a nimble twist of footwork follows, Lord Martino Malvici leads Drusila through a simple waltz as the violins drape the Salon in a low, ethereal whisper of strings. The hum of the cellos following in, the high picks of the harps add the occasional touch.

Drusila checked charm + performance at difficulty 15, rolling 32 higher.

Martino checked dexterity + performance at difficulty 15, rolling 37 higher.

Maybe it was that exchanged look or maybe it's that she's taking pity on the poor man after, but Evonleigh and Aethan are the next to head for the door, after a quick little round of farewells to those nearby. "Thank you," says Evonleigh to Catalana on the way out -- Martino too gets a nod of thanks, though he's currently cutting a rug and probably too busy to see it.

Rysen drifts into the Abassador's Salon fairly late with Lygeia beside him. He gratefully accepts a glass of whiskey from a passing servant, and makes his way toward the bar. He smiles as he notices Martino and Drusila dancing a waltz.

The shorter Drusila dances with the slightly taller Malvici host as he leads in a simple waltz. As their dance moves along the floor, and they come closer to the others dancing, she does give a few words of praise to Artur and Liara before she returns her eyes up to her partner.

William, a taciturn quartermaster leaves, following Aethan.

2 Whitehawk Guards, Aethan leave, following Evonleigh.

Jaenelle finishes the softly shared conversation with those sitting at the table she had been invited to before standing. It seems that the spider that sits on Jae's head is ready to go home.

Jaenelle has left the Large Table.

12 House Velenosa Guards, Ibasia, the Velenosa Lady-in-Waiting, Ellani, the palm sized spider leave, following Jaenelle.

Artur,Martino,Drusila="Thank you!" Liara replies to Drusila, with a sunny little smile, as they pass.

Artur chuckles, mainly because he knows that he's going to be more the prop in all of this than the actual dancer. But Liara is more than making it up. At one point at it all, the Redrain prince leans in to ask the Grayson princess. "So did they join in, or are we the only two that were foolish enough to take to the floor?" he asks with an amused smile as he passes by the new set of dancers, and there is a momentary smile of relief.

Catalana gives Rysen a wave as he enters, her cheeks still pinking at the sight of him. "Lord Rysen. Welcome. You missed the drink contest. Though, there may be some to taste. Princess Sabella and Prince Artur's win most creative." She gives the now sludge looking drink a look before watching the barkeep slide a fresh version onto the bar. "Are we really going to try this concoction your highness?"

Lifting his right hand to Drusila's hair, Martino twists his fingertips for a moment within hers to allow for a pirouette to take place. To, in typically fashion, show off for a few moments and back his left hand returns to Drusila's hip and back across the floor they stride.

Thea bows her head to Ryden as she at least notices his entrance,"Lord Rysen, Good evening."

Sabella holds up her hand, "No, oh no. I'm trusting the bartender to take some of those ingredients and make something that's actually good. As Princess Zara said, all of those things sound good on their own, but I suppose even the best ingredients mixed together don't always produce good results. A fair lesson learned."

"I can think of no circumstance wherein dancing at a ball is foolish!" Liara declares, briskly. Then with a flash of a grin for Artur, "And I am glad to see that you have had some practice at it." She continues to basically show off when the opportunity arises.

Drusila pirouette's with one hand's fingertips touching Martino's as she elevates slightly her right leg and spirals a few times, keeping her gaze to his until she needs to turn. And then there's a slight curtsey before she's scooped by him further in step.

Turning from the graceful dancing of Martino and Drusila, Rysen smiles and bows to Catalana. "I'm sorry for arriving so late, My Lady. My leg's been sore from an incident the other evening in Commons Square," he says with a wink. He takes a sip of whiskey, until he notices Thea. His jaw drops, and his grey eyes grow large. He stands stunned for a moment and says, "You're wearing a gown? I... mean, your gown is lovely, Lady Thea." He laughs softly, and bows his head respectfully to the Lady of House Malvici.

There's a chuckle that rises from Artur in amusement as he lets Liara take full lead in the dance. "My mother was a Laurent. I'm sure she'd box my ears if I didn't have at least some skill in dance." Smiling sheepishly, the Prince continues to lead Liara - or well, seem to lead. Smirking slightly at the discussion around them, as the first song comes to a close, the Prince turns to bow to Liara. "Thank you for the dance, Your Highness. Perhaps this will encourage others?"

Happiness, a bluebird arrives, delivering a message to Artur before departing.

Niklas returns to the room after having been called away to deal with one of those big playwright emergencies that always comes up. The paper store ran out of the good paper. The squids all ran dry of ink. An actor decided to happen. That sort of thing. After surveying the room he too-confidently steps up to the bar beside his wife, sees the glass of flammable citrus murder stew she has made, picks it up and has himself a hefty gulp. "Let me tell you about the ridiculous thing I ju- BLAAAGGGH!" Delayed reaction. "What is this?! BLAAAAGH!" He sets the glass down and grabs a handy hankerchief and begins energetically scraping his tongue free of the horrors he just put into his mouth. "My tongue has gone numb AND it burns! Oh gods! Why did they put detergent in a glass?!"

Caspian lets out a little laugh at Rysen's shock, giving him a nod of his head as he waves his hand to Thea, the man sitting next to Lady Zoey. "Yes, can you believe it? I was shocked as well," he says back to him with a chuckle given his way. "She should wear one more often!"

Happiness, a bluebird arrives, delivering a message to Artur before departing.

"In that case, your highness, say thank you to your mother for me," Liara replies to Artur, with a grin. As the dance comes to a close, she offers a light curtsey to Artur and, departing the dance floor for a moment, she suggests, "The best way to encourage others in this particular instance is to happen upon them and ask for a dance."

Happiness, a bluebird arrives, delivering a message to Artur before departing.

Catalana goes a mortified red shade at Rysen's words. Trying to laugh it off. "Yes. Lord Wash was quite impressed. He is hoping you have a limp." Noticing he is distracted by lycene fashion choices, she brushes down her much more demure dress before she returns to her company at the bar. "Yes. So champagne and strawberries go well together I think."

Happiness, a bluebird, Salty, a judgmental pygmy goat kid arrive, following Esme.

Reese is here cheerfully watching the dancing and cradling her drink. She even taps her right foot along with the music.

Thea lifts her eyebrow at Rysen and Caspian,"When the occasion calls for it or in some random day, yes--it does happen,"a bit amused at them both. "But thank you." "How -is- your leg, Lord Rysen?"

Oh no. Sabella's eyes widen when Niklas comes over and before she can utter a warning he's picked up the glass and had a sip, "...oh no," she laments lamely, pushing the drink away from everyone, "Who left that there? Quick, some brandy please that should wash the taste away probably!" She reaches out to pat Niklas' shoulder soothingly.

Zara opens her mouth but gets no farther, watching as Niklas downs Sabella's drink. There is a note of almost _curiosity_ as she watches him, because good gods, that drink looked terrible, and then deep sympathy as he ... reacts. She glances sidelong at Sabella, but her solemn expression holds, and she certainly does nothing to rat her out in word or deed. Who _did_ leave that there? We'll never know.

As Artur receives a message, he gives Liara a smile. "I hope for that exactly, Your Highness. Perhaps it will inspire others..." of course, Niklas' coughing fit draws a frown. "I could have sworn I got rid of my drink.." he offers worriedly - but at least it seems to be Sabella's drink, and not his that got Niklas. He moves to stand back and wait, his hands folding in front of him as he moves to the bar to order a fresh whiskey.

Looking practically put out that Niklas gets to taste the drink she was getting ready to sample, Lucrezia scowls. From his reaction, he may have saved her from something actually awful. "Well, I suggest some modifications. The drink needs rum." Because rum *obviously* would make it better...

"Can't argue with that," says Rysen to Caspian softly. When Thea asks about the leg Catalana's daughter Cirella smashed with a stick the other evening, Rysen says, "It's been better - but no complaints - not that you're really the ideal audience for complaining in any case." He grins, and blinks at Niklas reaction. "Think I'll be sticking with whiskey tonight," he says under his breath. Noticing Reese nearby, Rysen raises his glass in greeting.

Caspian has left the Far rear couches.

Salty, a judgmental pygmy goat kid have been dismissed.

Thea clears her throat at Rysen,"I gave wooden swords to Duchess Calypso's children. They attacked Martino with them..." Does Thea look guilty about such? Not at all, as she sips her wine.

Niklas isn't quite crying as he rubs away at his tongue, but he certainly looks deeply aggrieved. "Why dub it tafte fo falty? Ad... ad like bacob?" When he's delivered a fresh drink he quickly gulps it down, sets his napkin to the side and turns to lean against the bar all cool like he didn't just nearly decorate it with his dinner. To Sabella he says out the corner of his mouth, "I dont think anyone thaw that." He smacks his lips a few times, making a face. "Thif fwelling beft not be permanent."

For any that have the chance to meet Esme Fidante, they know she's a ball of delighted energy. There is something deep in her that is so nice and so truly happy that it just wafts from her like a perfume; touching those around her. Tonight, it's kicked up to levels that know no bounds. She's been sending messages here and there. Her auburn hair swings around her face easily as she gracefully walks in the room. Her eyes sparkle as she looks around the area and takes in all the lovely collection, but she seems to be on the quest. That quest? Well, as soon as her eyes find Artur by the bar; everything intensifies. Those feline emerald eyes don't just sparkle like normal; they become all the stars that ever existed. Her smile doesn't just warm up; it is mega-watt radiance. Everything is just that much brighter as she moves /directly/ to him. While Esme is usually polite about waiting to be acknowledged and waiting for just the right moment; tonight it's tossed into the wind by her excitement. She almost vibrates as she attempts to throw her arms around the poor man. "It's amazing! Thank you! I don't deserve it! Thank you! Feel it. It's so soft. Did I say thank you?"

With a final pivot between them, Lord Martino Malvici tucks his forearm underneath his torso to bow low and smooth to Drusila as he comments to her. "Mine thanks for the dance, Messere. You have excellent footwork in the waltz." Stepping back to Drusila, returning them both to the bar he leans to murmur for a moment.

Catalana teases Niklas, "Are you sure you came from Kennex blood? I am sure I've seen Porter drink worse." She now lifts the sludge drink and gives it a sniff. "Maybe I should get Wash to come try it."

Thea has left the Far rear couches.

Thea has joined the Far rear couches.

Niklas snorts at Catalana. "The day after you and Wash married I saw Porter stumble out of a closet, drink a spittoon and fall through a window. I'm okay with falling short of his example."

"He probably /would/," Liara comments upon hearing Catalana mention Wash. "And goodness, that couldn't be good for him, could it?" The Grayson lingers near enough the bar for the moment, contemplating the crowd.

Just as Artur was about to down his whiskey, he has no danger sense when it comes to being stalked by Fidantes. So when Esme comes to hug him from behind, he barely has a chance to set aside his glass as he laughs. "I thought you'd enjoy it!" he says with a delighted smile towards the woman. "I have enough left over that I'm considering some gloves, and maybe a hood as well." There's a chuckle as he considers. "Though I doubt that it would stand out as terribly comfortable of the beaches of Tor. But it will at least help with the winters in the city." he points out, before he sets aside his glass. "The dancing has just begun, shall we?" he asks Esme, gesturing to the floor.

Rysen smiles at Thea, and glances towards Martino. "I feel for Martino, but wooden weapons are beloved gifts. Still remember when my uncle gave me my first. None of my family members were safe." Turning back towards Thea, Rysen says, "Would you care for a dance, My Lady? Doubt it'll be my best performance, but the whiskey helps and the music is superb." Suddenly thinking of music, Rysen glances for a moment toward Lucita.

Martino has left the Shadowy Table.

Catalana is not surprised hearing Niklas's recount of Porter and the spittoon. "Well I did make him promise to not drink out of the vases. But still. You should be use to drinking such terrible drinks." Sliding the drink towards her cousin in a clear dare, "Or has all that time at Bastion and all that wine dulled all your senses?"

Drusila has left the Shadowy Table.

Reese rises from the bar, sets her drink aside, smiles to those here and quickly slips off.

Zoey has left the Far rear couches.

Reese has left the Bar.

Stepping back to the bar with Drusila, Lord Martino returns her to Lucrezia with a both of his head, "Lady Pravus. Mine thanks for allowing us then. I hope we did not miss too much... here now? Oh, Lord Rysen. It was terrible. I am picked on by Lady Thea, but that is because of jealous over me." A faint laugh follows from Martino before he lends himself behind the bar to help serve drinks and the life for folk.

Drusila has joined the Bar.

Drusila joins back at the bar after saying thank you to Martino for the dance. She does see Reese go but alas is too slow to say goodbye to Ribbons.

Esme beams at Artur. BEAMS. Then she reaches up a hand to pet her marmot fur cloak. Her fingers moving across the material. "I'm going to wear it every day. /Every/ /Day/. It can go to the beaches of Tor with me." She laughs fully without apology and gives a soft squee. The knight of devotion bounces a bit on the balls of her feet. She might have just hopped with happy. Her auburn hair waves about her face as she nods and will attempt to link her arm with his. "Of course, Ar- Your Highness." Her lips curving up and then she stops and looks around at the people. A faint blush on her cheeks before she drops her voice to the man's ear.

Artur checked charm + performance at difficulty 15, rolling 106 higher. Artur rolled a critical!

"I don't drink wine," drawls Niklas, "I'm not some sort of southerner." He eyes her drink. "I prefer brandy. Is this just rum? I can drink just rum." He narrows his eyes at it. "Is it just rum? If you're giving me something and it tastes like alcoholic pickle juice I'm going to tell Auntie Vic that Rayne has a runny nose and then you'll have her sleeping in your bedroom for the next week."

Lucita has been deep in conversaton with those at her table though she catches Rysen's glance at her and gives him a little smile and a nod before turning back to listen to Carita.

Leading Esme out onto the floor, Artur slips his arms into hers comfortably, waiting for the music to change and set. Once it does, he gives the Fidante woman a bow of his head and a smile. "On my lead?" the Prince asks, and then leads in the first steps of the dance between the pair - and he seems to lose all the nervousness he had earlier with Liara as he starts to move with Esme across the floor the salon, his eyes locked on hers as he guides, spinning and twisting the woman about on a merry chase across the floor, taking advantage of the natural movement between the two.

Thea rolls her eyes at Martino,"Right..That's what I do." She shakes her head as amusement flashes across her face. Hearing Esme, Thea greets her,"Good evening. Nice to see you again.".

Catalana checked charm + manipulation at difficulty 20, rolling 8 higher.

After polishing off a spot of wine that she had, Liara heads towards the entrance, offering a parting, "Thank you, my lady, my lord!" to Catalana and Martino both when she passes near the bar.

Catalana gives Niklas her best innocent eyes "Why? You make it sound as if I am as bad as Porter and Wash. When have you ever known me to play pranks on you? Extending the glass of what looks like plain brandy, she also warns him "Tell Aunty Vic that, I will tell her all about your mean nanny and how you could use some extra help."

Esme checked dexterity + performance at difficulty 15, rolling 8 higher.

Niklas has joined the Bar.

Esme is not blessed by the Gods to dance like Artur. She does stand upright. When Thea talks to her, Esme brightens and casts her smile towards her. "It is most wonderful to see you again. It is as if you were sent to light up the darkest of nights. I hope you have been well." She moves over and then with Artur. Her lips quirk up just a bit as he goes through the steps. She just moves where he leads as if she's already expecting them. Besides, with moves like his, she'd look good no matter what. Her lips part as she speaks. "This is where you say something dashingly romantic that sets the tone for our dance." She teases as her emerald gaze meets his cinnamon one.

Rysen laughs warmly and nods to Martino. "I don't doubt it in the least, My Lord. My apologies for arriving late, though I'm feeling a little sorry for myself as it seems you and Lady Catalana have provided the best liquor and music." He takes another drink of whiskey, as he watches Artur and Esme on dance floor. "Gods and spirits," he says, taken in by the graceful movement.

"Speaking of dancing," Sabella extends her hand to Niklas, "Would you like me to save you from your cousin by giving you an excuse to step on my slippers?" She asks with a grin.

Baelos is not what one would call 'involved'. Certainly no organization calls him a leader, or really even a member. However, he is a frontrunner - one of the true elites - when it comes to frequenting the taverns of Arx. And, no surprise, here he is! For a few weeks he has been doing this thing where he THROWs open the door to the Ambassador and strikes a dramatic silhouette, much to the annoyance of all others. He seems to have moved on from that phase, in favor of the non-chalant entrance. Quiet swish of the door, saunter to the bar, raised finger, chin nod, drink on its way.

Octavian, a silken spaniel leaves, following Zoey.

Lucita gives a nod to both her table companions then says. "That sounds like something we definitely will have to do soon. but for now, I have to return home. Please give my best wishes to both your families.

Lucita has left the Large Table.

Baelos has joined the Bar.

Niklas checked perception + empathy at difficulty 15, rolling 60 higher.

"Something romantic?" Artur lifts his brows as he leads Esme across the floor, trying to find something to say - but it seems that Esme's marmot cloak is generating even more attention and the Prince's cheeks warm. "I think the only think that is drawing the attention to that lovely cloak is the gorgeous woman wrapped within it." he says to her with a small chuckle. Hopefully that works? He's not sure!

Lucrezia has left the Bar.

Niklas looks between Catalana, the drink and back, then sets it down and says crisply, "Mean Nanny would stab Auntie Vic, so don't do that to the poor dear. Some Seliki lord's dog got too close to Clara and Mean Nanny skinned it with her teeth." He turns and takes Sabella by the hand. "Of course, my dear. Though Prince Artur does appear to be on fire this evening, so lets try to stay to the other side of the room."

Micana, 1 Saik Guard leave, following Lucita.

Shaking her head at Drusila, Lucrezia cuts away from the bar, heading towards the door. "Nope! Summon Lord Dante, I'd dance with him. Or, that glaivedancing stuff. Not, not, not this!" Not in this dress even, she might die and that'd be embarrassing.

Thea hears Artur and she--possibly scrunched her nose a little. Hidden of course behind her glass. Her gold-flecked green eyes turn toward Rysen,"Lies. No jealousy at all. He just couldn't take the abuse." Another grin forms. Hearing another arrival, Thea turns and nods to Baelos, all while bidding the others goodbye as they depart.

Drusila has left the Bar.

Drusila takes a drink from the goblet before setting it down, following Lucrezia from the bar towards the door!

Sabella checked charm + performance at difficulty 15, rolling 27 higher.

Niklas checked charm + performance at difficulty 15, rolling 59 higher.

1 Pravosi Knights leaves, following Drusila.

Drusila leaves, following Lucrezia.

Esme gives a slightly baleful look at that but then she smiles vibrantly. It's like her only real emotion dial is broken on happy all the time. "That will be good for now, but only because I put you on the spot." She laughs though and shakes her head at him as she moves to drape her arms around his shoulders. She will speak low to him but two things catch her attention over the princely dancing skills. The name 'Dante', has her eyes sliding over in that direction as she watches Lucrezia. Then Niklas, the unknown's, comment. This causes her to laugh. "It is a good thing I /am/ Southern..." Yeah she heard that wine comment, Mr. Man. ".. I can handle the heat."

Catalana teases Niklas and he goes off to dance. Saved from whatever she's created "Always so dramatic Nik." As others dance, Cat gives a hopeful look to the door.

"I'm not surprised, do you remember the creativity he put into that play?" Sabella asks, grinning as she pulls Niklas out onto the dance floor, "I'm sorry about the drink. I'm not as creative in all things as I'd like to be, it seems. I'm also terrible at poetry, which you well know."

Esme checked dexterity + performance at difficulty 15, rolling 16 higher.

Baelos has posted up, one elbow on the bar, with a whiskey in hand. He watches the dancing with some curiosity, but makes no move to join. Instead, he quickly polishes off his first drink, thumping the glass down on the bar and raising his hand for another.

"Cat, if one cannot be dramatic, then why be at all?" Niklas spins Sabella around the floor. "No need to be sorry, my love. Eventually feeling will return to the inside of my mouth and I'll stop tasting wet copper bits and I'll be good as new! Serves me right for stomping up and drinking some strange concoction I found sitting at the bar."

Catalana spots a new face. An unsuspecting victim. Approaching Baelos, she hands him an innocent looking glass of Brandy. "Here. I made this myself before." Offering a beguiling smile, she introduces herself "I'm Lady Catalana Kennex."

"So you admit it was abuse then," says Rysen to Thea with a grin. Overhearing Sabella as dances with Niklas, Rysen cuckles and says softly, "But you sing like Lianhan, Your Highness." He throws back the rest of his whiskey and turns to Lygeia to ask for another.

"Lady Fidante, have you met Princess Sabella and Prince Niklas Grayson? They are very definition of setting the world on fire." Artur responds with a laugh. "I could only hope to have a spark as they do someday when they are together. Your Highnesses, this is Lady Esme Fidante, of the Cavalry of Roses." he says as he moves the woman across the floor, and chuckles. "And my unsuspecting victim of both a gift of marmot furs and of our dance this evening."

Thea distantly watch Baelos and Catalana. She smirks at that interaction and makes no move to interfere with that. Gods help him as she sips her wine. Slowly turning toward Rysen, her eyes mostly gold now,"The tip of a wooden sword touched him. He would of course claim abuse."

Never one to back down from even the most suspicious of drinks, Baelos ignores his new whiskey that arrives and takes the drink from Catalana. "Of course, Lady Catalana. What is the worst that could happen?" He quirks a brow, and lifts the glass in a toast before taking a drink.

Esme looks up at Artur as he says something low to her. She pouts out her lower lip and adds a small little quiver. Of course, her face and eyes always give away her true intentions and feelings. There is just humor found there. "You break my heart into a million peices, My Prince. A million. I shall never be the same. You have broken it. All the stars in the sky are just a reflection of my shattered heart." Her lips are fighting not to smile. "I am uncertain that I shall ever be able to forgive you." Of course, she's making no moves to end the dance. In fact, when introduced, her smile radiates to the couple. "I have not had the honor. It is a most fabulous moment to be introduced to the firesetters of the world. I do hope that I am on the right side when we get to watch it burn."

Catalana has no real idea what is in that glass other than some crushed peppers and brandy. There was some suspicious goopy stuff on the table. Cat just beams that she convinced at least someone to drink one of the terrible cocktails of the night.

Color rises to her cheeks, but Sabella's eyes shine at Rysen's compliment, "You are too kind, Lord Rysen. And I am quite glad the Nightingale already left. It was Prince Artur's inspiration that helped to bring out the best in me that night." She then murmurs to Niklas, "Perhaps I should get Mean Nanny to accompany us on some outings, just in case." She laughs at Esme's response to Artur, "I like you already, my lady. But I have to say I'd rather ignite hearts and spirits than the world itself. For if it burns, who would be left to enjoy our company?"

There's a laugh at that, and Artur shakes his head. "I will have to spend the rest of this turn on the wheel and my next to find all the pieces to assemble again, Esme." he offers teasingly, the two of them talking quietlty to her, until she says something, and realization touches his features, and he ohs softly as he leads Esme around again.

Baelos is always reliable in a pinch when it comes to drinking, and maybe also brawling, streaking, or gambling. Maybe he had a few whiskies before he arrived (ok, definitely), because he doesn't even flinch. "Have you considered moonlighting as a barkeep?" He retorts with a faint grin as he deposits the glass - empty! - on the bar, and then takes up his whiskey again. He arches a brow, "I feel like I usually see you in a pair. Not tonight?"

Thea lifts her eyebrow at Baelos, waiting for a cough, swollen tongue, red face, anything! But there's nothing! What the----

Rysen scoffs at Thea. "They say poets and artists feel more deeply than others. Perhaps Lord Martino is just such an artist. Besides, you're not exactly the most sympathetic physician in Arvum. Marquessa Reigna tried to give me medical attention while she was barely able to rise from her cot; whereas I came to you bleeding profusely, and you said, 'Gods, Rysen - your making a mess. Go to the hospital and I'll come when I'm good and ready,'" he says, doing his best impersonation of Thea's Southport accent.

Rysen blushes in finding Sabella overheard him, but he smiles and says, "Every part of the play was transporting that night, Your Highness. Just lucky I had the opportunity to be there."

"Ah, was Mistress Gianna here?" asks Niklas with an airy crispness. Like calling her Mistress doesn't border on spitting in her footsteps. "And I missed hearing you sing? Well, you'll just have to repeat the performance later." He offers Artur a bright smile, "So good to see you again, your highness. And you appear to be as talented at dancing as you are at eating innocent villagers. I approve!" Esme is given a sketch of a bow. "A delight, my lady."

Catalana just gapes at Baelos. Gapes! What? Nothing? Her shoulders slump in mismanaged mischief. She will have brought shame to the Kennex troublemakers. Regardless, she looks to the door again. "My husband is on child minding duty. Our daughter has been attacking members of the peerage, "A look again to Rysen, "and since he taught her, he gets to mind her until she doesn't use healing supplies as weapons."

Esme laughs and nods with Sabella's words. Esme is unapologetic in her laughter, her words and her being. "It is quite right! If I had a drink, I would toast it to your insight, Your Highness. For our company is to be enjoyed. These men..." She indicates Niklas and Artur. ".. they do not know how good they have it, blessed by our attentions. I feel they should at least acknowledge our generosity when we allow them to dance with us." Nevermind that Artur is the best dancing one between the pair. Her eyes twinkle as they fall to Artur. "Will you go on quests to find the shards that you have torn asunder? Ripped from my... heaving... bosom.." Esme's eyes flash with quick humor to that. "You will have to spend the rest of that time making it up to me." She sighs oh so romantically and offers in a teasing voice to Artur. "All those apology gifts." There is another laugh as she moves a bit closer into the circle of his arms. Her eyes move then to Niklas. "He has been eating innocent villagers? Oh, that shall never do. At least it should be the less than innocent ones. Ah, but they don't make quite the right shock appeal. No one ever picks up torches for the honor of Linda, the not so innocent one. I suppose one must think of the stories and legends."

"Now you're just dramatic,"Thea smirks at Rysen. "I did no such thing!" She eyes Rysen still,"Besides, I stitched you fine, you didn't lose a limb...." Hearing Esme, Thea turns and suggests,"Animals make great apology gifts."

Exactly the reaction one hopes for when drinking a brandy-pepper-goop cocktail. Baelos winks at Catalana and Thea over the rim of his glass (of pepper-free whiskey). A light shrug to the hostess. "It seems like a perfectly reasonable thing for children to be doing. It has to be -incredibly- boring spending time with the peerage, so one should do some attacking."

"Ah, but Prince Niklas was a willing partner in crime in the hunting and eating of innocent villagers. With tasty names like Jam, who could resist?" Artur laughs, and then smirks at Esme as he settles his hands on her hips as the two of them continue to move across the floor, his brows knitting together in thought.

Carita rises from her seat with Mirk, where the pair have been talking casually. "It's good to see you, Lord Mirk." She lifts a hand to wave Catalana's way, "It was a lovely party."

Carita has left the Large Table.

4 Redoubt Buccaneers, Midna, the twighlight Darkwater Assistant leave, following Carita.

Rysen laughs when Niklas mentions 'Mistress Gianna.' "True enough," he says, nodding to Thea. "Your skill in medicine is extraordinary. There's no denying that." As the music winds down, Rysen finishes his last drink. He waves to Martino and, making his way to Catalana, bows. "Thank you for hosting, My Lady."

Mirk rises to his feet as well, the last one sitting at his table, and says, "It's a pleasure to see all of you, but I think I'll be calling it an evening as well. My compliments to the hosts."

"If those villagers hadn't wanted to be eaten," says Niklas, "they wouldn't have been so delicious." He looks back to his wife. "We should probably be home before Mean Nanny has the children calling her Granny again. Your mother was not amused by that at all."

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